tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC February 18, 2013 9:00am-10:00am PST
politico's white house reporter carrie rudolph brown. this weekend highlighted the delicate thread by which immigration reform hangs in congress. usa today obtain aid white house document from president obama's immigration priorities. it included beefing up border security, mandating that all businesses implement the e-verify system in four years, and adding 140 new judges to expedite immigration cases. more controversially, the document also discussed a permanent legal status visa for those without records that are willing to be fingerprinted and pay a fine. in eight years those approved for the visa could a reply for a green card and potential citizenship several years later. hours after the lake, senator marco rubio called the ideas half baked and seriously flawed, adding if actually proposed the president's bill would be dead on arrival in congress. the white house denied leaking the document and underscored that it was not an official proposal. >> we've not proposed mying to
capitol hill yet. we've got a bill. we're doing exactly what the president said we would do last month in las vegas, which is we're preparing, we're going to be ready. >> still, leaders m gop on sunday accuse the president of having ulterior motives, trying to kill any real immigration reform for political gain. >> does the president really want a result, or does he want another to beat up republicans so that he can get political advantage in the next election? >> leak this out does set things in the wrong direction. is the president looking for a partisan advantage, or is he looking for a bipartisan law? >> this is the president torpedoing his own plan, and it shows me he is not really serious. democrats bring up this idea as wedge issues. they don't really want ever to pass them because thel then they would no longer have the republicans to blame. >> joining us now to discuss is telemundo jose diaz. it is always a good day when you are on my screen. >> jose, there's been a lot of
negative reaction from certain corners in the gop on this white house sort of floated proposal. to me -- i would love you to correct or build on this, but the machine here -- the numbers are eight years as the length of time we need to travel on path to citizenship. thus far weave heard sort of overtures made around citizenship, but to actually peg a number to it would seem to put the gop in a fairly difficult place given the fact that they sort of danced around that topic to agree sense they've been talking about immigration reform. >>. >>ist eight years, five years, or 15 years. the reality of the matter is that there is very difficult work being done both in the senate and the house between
republicans and democrats to try and get some kind of agreement that would lead to 11 million people finally being able to come out from under the shadows and our borders to be secure. yesterday on enfoque senator mccain was on, and one of the things he said he said i think we've made enough progress and i think we can get operational security on the border done. that's a huge statement by the republicans who rubio has been talking about a trigger between the border being certified closed and any immigration reform for the 11 million people. when there is some progress being made on the republican side, which is an extremely difficult thing to get from the republicans on immigration reform, i think timing on this, whether it's eight years or 15, really doesn't help anything when this work is very painstaking and slow. >> let's talk about the border piece, because that is part of the house -- the senate's
bipartisan proposal and it includes leaks, basically, a path to citizenship, to a secured -- if you look at the border, it seems fairly secure. we have the stats on migration from 1995 to 2003. we will have mexican officials saying we need to stop the flow of illegals across the border to mexico. the whole notion that these two things need to be -- the idea that the border isn't secure enough, and you have pointed this out a number of times. why is it even a concession? >> today on president's day -- today on president's day 1,400 people will be deported in this country, and tomorrow the day after presidents day 1,400 people will be deported in this country. a lot of those people have -- families are divided every single day by 1,400.
you know what, the issue of a secure border is essentially a moot point. that's why it's so important that we have finally republicans saying to quote senator mccain again i think we can get operational security on their border done, so that's why it's so important, i think, that we focus on, well, if you guys and the republican party are willing to accept that there is secured borders, then let's deal with the big -- you have talked about the 1,800 pound elephante in the room. >> yes, we have. >> let's deal with the 11 million people that are here and have families and are getting divided every single day. >> let's open this up to our panel. that's a big if statement. know, from the view from the white house here, the white house has said -- apparently the white house made calls to the senate group that's working on immigration reforms and said we did not leak this. jose said he doesn't think it's a good idea that this proposal is out there, and you see negative reaction to it.
do you think this was strategy on the white house's part? >> i don't know if it was strategy. as you said, they said they don't have any fingerprints on this. i think it was pretty good strategy, though. they are flooding the zone with this issue. you saw initially the republicans p refer about talking about immigration. then the president had his speech of the following tuesday. here we have a lull in terms of news cycle, congress is dark for the next ten days. here he comes with the very concrete number. eight years. that's the only take-away from this story. right? that's what people will remember. also, i think her very smart. there's another thing in usa today, one of the most widely read newspapers in the country by a vast cross-section of folks. the story today is about record deportation. on the one hand you had this idea that this is an administration that's hard on immigration and about law and order, but also a bit of a carrot also saying that this number of eight years many terms of immigration. i think they've been really great. historically this hasn't been a white house that's been great in
terms of putting out what they want to do in terms -- also not great at messaging. i think obama 2.0 in terms of how he is playing this is very good. >> it is way more cut throat, carrie, thaen we've seen the white house be if, in fact, they did leak it. usa today is a very savvy choice in terms of its broad readership. i will point out this is all coming, you know -- we're talking about security borders. rand paul says he wants an annual vote by congress affirming that the border is secure. i don't know what the metrics are in deciding that, but at the same time he is also pushing for the sequester, and one of the pieces of the sequester is that worlder patrol would have to reduce 5,000 agents a year if the sequester takes place. >> yeah, that's one of the kind of pull and push of this whole sequester debate and a lot of these priorities, especially on immigration. it's pretty interesting how it would mean fewer border agents at a time when you would potentially have any immigration plan that's out there involving
greater border security. i'm not so sure that this white house strategy may in the short-term damage the cause in some ways. in part because immigration reform is based very much on a very delicate coalition both in congress and outside of congress, and when you upset that balance, immigration may be worse than a lot of other issues in washington. it could be -- it could damage it and make it more fragile m short-term. the flip side of that argument, however, is that the president has never really had great luck in congress with working with republicans, so the fact that he is maybe upsetting rubio isn't surprising, and he may not ever have kept rubio on his side, but when rube wroe is out there speaking negatively of this process, the bipartisan groups needs to keep rubio close to them. these all may be semantics and optics, but -- it could be a problem. >> jose, the republican party sort of needs -- i mean, this
immigration reform could fail, and you could argue that the president will not necessarily be in a worse place given the fact that he has been very forward, forward leaning on the issue, and republicans demographically in terms of latino wroe vote and hispanic vote, which, again, is not monolithic would seem to need it more. i want to play some sound. former presidential candidate gummy bear lover newt gingrich talking about self-deportation this week on abc. let's hear what he had to say. >> i think that and the 47% comment were fatal. if you look at the polling data from univision and others, the minute he got into self-deportation, both asian-americans and latino-americans said don't talk to me about jobs. deport me -- my grandmother is going to go home? don't talk to me. >> jose, i thought it was fairly -- a fairly blunt assessment of where the republican party stands as far as, you know, minority votes and the road ahead. >> let me -- let me give you mother quote, again, from
emfoque, the sunday telemundo show. if that isn't reversed, we will be an extinct political party. mccain said that yesterday on telemundo network. i have to bring it back to the issue here of -- when we talk about whether republicans get some benefit over the democrats or vice versa, the reality is there are 11 million people -- i'm sorry to beat this as a drum, but there are 11 million people in this country. the vast majority of whom are honest, hard-working, have contributed and continued to contribute to the economy, to the culture, to this society on a daily basis. many of them, a majority, have u.s.-born children. this is what really it's all about. these people are here to contribute and to remove that aspect, that 800 pound elephant from the discussion i think really is a disservice to people who contribute to the prices that we pay for our vegetables
and fruits, to how the economy continues to run in this country. these people are looking for politicians both republicans and democrats, and i spoke to some democrats over the weekend who, quite frankly, are upset at this leak as much as senator rubio seems to say he is because they've been asking the president to keep his powder dry, to let them try to work behind the scenes to get something done with republicans who are in many ways looking, some of them, for any excuse to back out of any immigration reform. this is not helpful, and it's certainly not helpful to the folks that have hopes and dreams and aspirations to those coming out of the shadows. >> the republican party, increasingly, becoming mono crow mattic, which is to say white. we'll talk about that in the mechanics block. do you -- that argument there that this gives cover to republicans who don't want to see immigration reform and just how bad that can be for the party.
sfoo well, it gives cover to republicans who oppose it. it also smokes the party out wheredlogically. if it's not going to be a conversation anymore about sealing the borders and self-deporting, latinos or other immigrants, undocumented people felt deporting, then what is it -- he sets an agenda. the same thing when he let the country into world war ii, he got out many front, he drove a hard agenda, pulled back when he thought he could, and then put the pressure on them to come up with something. he knows the republican party is intensely divided about this. they are driven idealogically still even at this late date by the tea party, and you're looking at polling surveys on the tea party and see where they stand on immigration and a point worth making that gets overlooked is back in the day whether there were all kinds of ethnic division among competing groups, it was who gets the job? no irish need apply. that's not what it's about
anymore. it's about social services in the country. you isolate a tea party that says it wants small government on the one hand, but really object because -- >> cutting back -- >> cutting back for children who through no fault of their own were born here. rick perry of all people tried to make that comment. what happened? they shot hem down. idealogically and politically it may not be a bad move for obama. smoke them out. make them state just how committed they are to this. yeah. >> really quickly, ari. the other thing is that this whole process, we know the president said this is going to inflame passions, but can the gop debt get through this whout putting their collective foot in their mouth, which is to say it stokes the ayre of passions both in the progressive community and the conservative community and will any -- if they do make it an actual reform, does the rhetoric and resistance that will inevitably come from certain parties of the gop negate the fact that they make
on actual policy? >> rubio has the same problem that lindsey graham has, which is can you do enough fire-breathing obama attacks to earn yourself any space to do something mildly moderate or centrist? he is clearly trying to walk that line by saying, oh, this is a terrible obama proposal even though monday partisan reporters point out that m innards, it's similar to what he has previously supported. it goes back really to the way you led this segment, which is with rand paul and john mccain and others talking about do the democrats want to do something or do they just want to -- they know the answer to that. the democrats passed the dream act in the house in 2010. john mccain was part of the republican filibuster against a majority of votes in the senate to advance the dream act and put it on the president's desk. there are many criticisms you can make about both parties being very opportunistic. that's what political parties are. they look for political opportunities, but we have a record here. both parties know the record. this group of democrats has done everything can you do facing obstruction to try to pass the
dream act, which is stronger, according to many emgregs advocates, than what we have on the table now. >> that's because it was done by executive order, right? jose, really quickly before we let you go, are the -- the president is talking about march for immigration reform. how bullish or bearish are you on that date? >> i think by the end of the senate will come up, and i hope that the house will come up with something at the same time. if that happens, i think the political temperatures will cool in enough time for maybe end of summer something to be voted on, and that would beered extraordinary. >> end of summer. i like that date, my friend. thank you, as always, to jose diaz balart. >> thank you. >> after the break, can the gop survive as the party of nullification, or are republicans nullifying their chances of party survival? how is that for syfax? we'll cuss that and more next on "now." [ male announcer ] why is kellogg's crunchy nut so delicious?
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>> republican party's reliance on southern white voters once a successful electoral strategy has become a straight jacket for which the gop is desperately trying to escape. it wasn't always this way. "when the select wal authors of the modern right created its doctrines in the 1950s they drew on 19th century political thought borrowing explicitly from the great apologists for slavery. above all, the intellectually fierce south carolinan john c. calhoun. this is not to say the conservatives today share calhoun's ideas about race. it is to say, instead, that the calhoun revival based on his complex theories of constitutional democracy became
the justification for conservative politicians to resist, ignore, or even overturn the will of the electoral majority. this politics of mull fiction can be seen today in republicans push for voter id laws, excessive use of the filibuster, blanket condemnation of any and all government services and the approach to social issues. president obama won hispanics by 44 points. african-americans by 87 points. gay and lesbian voters by 54 points, and young voters by 23 points. with that in mind robert draper asks in the "new york times" magazine can the republicans be saved from obselecence. the anecdotal evidence is not pretty. watching a gop voting group, draper saw the republican party described as old, middle-aged white men, marrow-minded, rigid, stuck in their ways." one gop digital specialist lamented the difficulty in
recruiting younger republicans saying they don't want to be part of an organization that puts them squarely on the wrong side of history. sam has his article, which graced the cover of "the new republic." it's the republicans, the party of white people. sam, it is a great, great story. it really gives people, i think, a history of sort of where the party has come from, which is to say the party that was really champions of civil rights, the votinging rights act, and how far they have gone in the intervening years. >> it's partly a story about the road built taken. in the 1950s dwight jiz enhaur was not the most fer vent activist of -- he appointed earl warren to the supreme court. we got the brown v. board historic decision. the first civil rights act passed since reconstruction was put through by the eisenhower administration without a single republican voting against it. then when there was a shocking
stand-off many little rock, arkansas, when the little rock nine, young people, were not allowed to enter a public high school, eisenhower sent in the 101st airborne. at that moment the republican party was leading the nation from civil rights, and then they made a different term. they decided the south and states rights, which were the votes were to be had. s barely goldwater said you hunt where the ducks are. 1964. we can grab the solid south. from 1968 to 1988 that more or less worked. they found an alienated white majority that was willing to accept a kind of cultural warfare. that's where the whole idea of cultural politics came in and the cultural wars, and what happened is the republicans never abandoned that, and they didn't see a huge demographic shift was happening in the country, and it's not just about african-americans and latinos.
as you pointed out, the beginning of the segment, it's gay americans. it's women. >> it's asians. >> it's asian-americans. if you are the party of self-reliance and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and 75% of asian-americans don't vote for you, you've got a problem. >> you've got a problem. >> and what -- you talked about this a lot ol this show, but it is an ongoing saga. i mean, as sam points out, that legacy of calhounism has given rise to the tea party, and the republican party has not made peace with that by a long shot. you were talking about rand paul who is giving the rebuttal to the rebuttal. marco rubio, who is a self-described tea partier, and the question is how do you jockey the two positions, which is trying to move the gop forward, how to, you know, have brown people in your party, when you have such a resistant conservative base that really seemingly does not want to move forward into the future. >> i think you saw that tension in rubio's reaction or rebuttal to obama's state of the union.
on the one hand he sounded exactly like mitt romney, if you closed your eyes and listened what he was saying, but then he had this sort of grassroots appeal where he talked about his parents' struggles, and then he made a pretty strong argument for government intervention in terms of student loans and medicare. >> he talked about his family. >> exactly. >> getting lifted up by their bootstraps largely with assistance of government programs. >> i think one of the lessons -- you know, the gop this last campaign was very much win one for the gipper. it was about this demographic that reagan was able to win on. what they didn't learn was the lessons that bush should have taught them from 2004. it wasn't just about latinos. she got 44% of the latino vote. he also did very well among african-americans in key states. ohio, virginia, florida. if you talked to republicans now, they sort of see that african-americans are a lost cause in terms of republicans. they do talk about latinos, but i do think it's more of a combination in some of the key states of african-american
voters. >> i saw rubio's address a little differently. i thought that the emphasis on medicare and his family and his student loans felt a lot more like a defensive credentialing. sort of like if you tell someone, oh, i think you're being rude to women, and they say how can i hate women? my mom is one. >> or some of my best friends are black. what are you talking about? yes. makes sense. >> it doesn't take you very far in conversation or politics. that was the defensive part. to go back to sam's story, the larger problem for the tea party is what i would call the constitutionalization of political differences that you can debate the size and the role of government in the health care market, but when you spend a tremendous amount of energy and i would argue vitreal with what most people at the time thought was a very far-fetched view of the constitution, that it would somehow preclude the government from entering and regulating the health care market even though the government already is obviously in that market with direct health care services,
right, they spent a lot of time and energy on that, and we're seeing that again in the voting rights case that's coming up where things that have been considered settled law for a long time are now part of a larger political movement that wants to really graft a limited constitutional view through not only the yushl branch but through the political branches, and i would say so far they're not very successful at it. >> that's the sort of "tyranny of the minority." the party of mull fiction. not surprisingly, some of those acceptance of those policies finds order in parts of the country where the republicans have a stronghold/stranglehold, largely areas of the oel confederacy. to an unprecedented degree, today's republican majority in the house is centered in the states of the old confed are as where i. the gop enjoys a 57-seat advantage across the 11-state region that stretches from texas to virginia. outside of the south, democrats hold a 24-seat majority. >> even rand paul, i believe,
said the republicans are in danger of no longer being a national party. >> right. >> part of the problem is i did some number crunching too, and i have it in the story. if republicans can't hold on to texas, which apparently is something that they're worried about now, they may not be able to win a single state with 20 electoral votes. >> which is shocking. >> if there were a kind of rand atlas, world atlas electoral majority, the republicans do great because they get all those areas where nobody lives. right? all those states, you know. if you did the geographical presidency, they're terrific, or the square mile presidents. once you get into populous areas, the suburbs of denver aren't so different from westchester county where i live. >> also, i mean, david plouff points out, obama won the cuban vote in florida. i mean, this was sort of supposed to be romney's -- this is part of the latino population that he had maybe on lock, and obama won it.
>> i think sam's piece really helps explain why immigration, of all of the issues -- i did a piece last week. of all the issues the president talked about his address last week, immigration has the best chance, and that is such a shift from a year ago, from five years ago, six years ago when it was just a radioactive issue. the fact that immigration is at the front of the legislative priorities on the republican party helps explain, you know, his piece helps explain why that is, which is that immigration is sort of an issue where like julian castro says it's a piece where hispanic voters decide sort of who is with us and who is not, and it really is -- it really gives you a good sense of why this is such a priority right now. >> well, i mean, especially given -- the republican party -- george w. bush had a much more progressive view on immigration than today's republican party does. he was unafraid really to talk about amnesty in a way that is almost apart from the current
gop. >> karl rove was going to build his permanent republican majority on the backs of that. that's one reason he started in this other group. whatever you think of karl rove, he is a pretty good number cruncher, and there's no way if you are a republican strategist that you see the numbers they've got now and see anything but real trouble. >> you got quietly privately republicans move this. privately they liked what rick perry was saying, and they felt like he was at something of a disvac. you saw romney, of course, go to the right in terms of immigration. >> self-deportation. >> you also didn't see romney make any real effort to court african-americans or to court latinos. i mean, i traveled with him. he went to texas, and he had an event there where he was trying to reach out to hispanic-americans. there weren't any hispanic-americans m audience, and he had one line approximate his speech about the high unemployment rate among hispanic-americans, but there was no real effort to go out there and gin up support among those groups. >> as with so many things romney there was no there there.
coming up more details are emerging in the bob menendez donor mess. we will look at the complicated relationship between donors and ethics when larry noble, with americans from campaign reform joins us ahead on "now." hello! how sharp is your business security? can it help protect your people and property, while keeping out threats to your operations? it's not working! yes it is. welcome to tyco integrated security. with world-class monitoring centers and thousands of qualified technicians. we've got a personal passion to help your business run safer, smarter, and sharper. we are tyco integrated security. and we are sharper. to prove febreze can keep this car fresh, we loaded it with fast food, sweaty hockey gear, and a smelly dog cage. and parked it at a mall. in texas. for two days.
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the problems nor new jersey senator bob mendez started back in november when conservative web sites including the daily caller reported that menendez had hired prostitutes while on vacation in the dominican republic. while the fbi has since found the prostitution claims to be false, details of a different sort of sketch where iness have emerged in the past few weeks. this time involving senator menendez's quid pro quo relationship with wealth where i florida surgeon, investor, and democratic donor solomon melgam. melgan funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into his re-election campaign last year and has also given menendez access to his private plane over the years. menendez seems to have returned the favor. the senator's efforts to help him have raised questions about the nature of their relationship, particularly menendez's involvement in helping melgan secure a port
security contract in the dominican republic worth over $500 million. still, menendez insists he has not been bought. in an interview last week with univision, he said no one has bought me. no one. ever. whether or not menendez is guilty remains to be seen, but as a skankdz continues to unravel, closer examination of the relationship will no doubt prompt larger questions -- >> larry, as one of my producers pointed out, this is like deep throat said, you just have to follow the money. the conversation around campaign finance reform has been largely muted, which is shocking given the unprecedented.
>> the relationship between him and one of his big donors. >> obviously i'm shocked that there's an accusation that a big donor was trying to curry favor with a politician, and that's something that may have been done in return. that's what our system is based on. right now we have a campaign finance system that forces members of congress and candidates to go to big donors. big donors give them money, and they expect something in return, and, you know, periodically we are outraged when one of these things hits the press, but the reality is it's going on every day. i -- you know, if we're going to -- i don't know the details of this specific case. i don't know if he did, in fact, do specifically do a fare for campaign contribution, which might be abroad. i have never known a member of conclude to say they were ever did anything wrong or were bought. if we're going to start looking at members of congress and what they've done for big donors, let's just go down the list of all of them and let's just look at financial -- the financial industry.
lease look at the health care industry. you will see big donors and favors being done. >> so what's the future here? i want to pull up some 2012 election statistics. $6 billion is the total amount spent in 2012. that includes campaigns outside groups, independent organizations. $2.6 billion was spent on the presidential campaign alone. $970 million was spent by outside groups that, of course, sheldon addleson with his own piece of the pie with $150 million spent on largely unsuccessful endeavors, but, larry, how -- i mean, right now the president is in florida golfing with the big donor. he is probably the least worst as far as, you know, big dollar donations and trying to have some amount of transparency, and the white house, but at the end of the day his campaign was a wash in high dollar donations. >> right. actually, what the president managed to do, which was very impressive, is he raised more small donor donations than we've ever seen before, but he also raised more large donor donations. i think, you know, that's a major problem. the president, when he first came into office, talked about
campaign finance reform and making an issue and has been largely silent about the issue. you know, the good news is i guess he is not running again, so, you know, he is not going to be raising money for himself. i'm sure he will be raising money for the party. what we can make of this is a tremendous amount of money being spent on election, but it's not necessarily the amount of money that's a problem. it's where it's coming from. what we're in favor of is small donor public funding of elections. right now you have big donors that basically push the small donor away, and that the big donors are giving because they want something in had return. there's no doubt about that. so you're going to keep seeing stories like this, but the elections are going to get more expensive, which is going to put more pressure on candidates to raise money, which is going to give more access to those who can bundle the big contributions, who can make the big contributions. frankly, we have a campaign finance system that is completely broken, and when you have the system by which you elect your candidates broken, you have a broken democracy. >> ari, we talk about money and
politics. it's also the rise of the super pacts has given a lot of rich guys the feeling that they can be key makers. they weren't very successful in the last election, but certainly the rise of sort of ego pacts is not going anywhere. >> who wouldn't want an ego pact? >> i want an ego pact. >> you can point to the lack of successes given the message at the end of the day has to be convincing. it can't just be the for wrum and the number of, you know, the air war that you conduct. certainly it's hard to envision a future where money is not a huge part of the game. >> yeah. there's two problems. one is the actual corruption of people on the take. the other is what people feel is distortion. these folks who have so much money to spend. the supreme court obviously has defended that second one, but basically says if there's corruption or the appearance of corruption, there's a lot you can do. that is the standard. obviously, people feel there is the appearance of corruption when you have these deals with big donors. the senator durbin's bill, the
fair elections now act and other state level reforms, including new york state or new york city, rather, have those kind of programs that basically take the millionaires out of giving directly to candidates, and that reduces corruption. they may be able to spend on their own voice, maybe their movies, make their ads, but if we don't have people flying on planes together and feeling that they owe someone hundreds of thousands of dollars for bundling, there's a lot less of that second door, the corruption door, and i think that's where the tangible action can be. >> larry, we -- there are -- there's a littany of scandal that has rocked washington, specifically relating to donors and money. charlie rangel, tom delay, jack abramhoff, jesse jackson, most recently. do you sense, as you do your work, that politicians ever -- there is ever a sense of remorse here or is it more i've got to be less -- i've got to be more crafty in how i do this going into my campaign? >> i think there's a sense of remorse when he got caught, but
i think that -- to be fair i think they're put under tremendous pressure that to run a race right now, to run a senate race, you have to be willing to raise tens of millions of dollars. you have to be out there doing it all the time. to run a congressional race you start the moment after you're elected. they're under tremendous pressure to do this, and, therefore, they turn to the people with the money. i think that, you know, looking for public funding system where you have small -- we really put an emphasis on candidates who are in small donors is going to be the only solution to this. otherwise, they're going to keep finding themselves in this position. it has to be one of these situations where there are numerous members of congress out there who know that if a reporter was to take a close look at who their contributors are and what -- and what they're doing that there could be a front page story about them. in one sense, the only thing right now that protects them is that there's so many of them they could all point to each other and say we're not the only ones doing it. >> thank you to larry noble of americans for campaign finance reform -- campaign reform. thank you, larry. >> thank you. >> finally, republicans admit
the hold on the hagel confirmation has nothing to do with chuck hagel, but that doesn't mean senators john mccain and lindsey graham are backing off their benghazi coverup charade. we will look at the continuing saga of the hagel haggle next on "now." [ jackie ] it's just so frustrating... ♪ the middle of this special moment and i need to run off to the bathroom. ♪ i'm fed up with always having to put my bladder's needs ahead of my daughter. ♪ so today, i'm finally talking to my doctor about overactive bladder symptoms. [ female announcer ] know that gotta go feeling? ask your doctor about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents, for 24 hours. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma, or can not empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz.
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>> there are so many questions about did he knowghazi. zim asking you, do you care whether four americans died? >> senator john mccain is continuing to beat the drum on benghazi, but he couldn't explain exactly what kind of coverup he believes occurred. while republicans try to keep a spotlight on the benghazi attack, it appears chuck hagel's confirmation as defense secretary will no longer be held hostage because of it. mccain says he will not go after the vote on hagel to block it.
outgoing secretary of state leon panetta, who should be tending to his walnut orchard in california, will spend his first week of retirement back at work. carrie, let's talk about john mccain. does he know what he is angry about anymore? what is he so angry about? >> well, this nomination fight is wrapped nup a lot of old fights dating back years did gaz back to the iraq war. i think we're hearing now this nomination will -- this confirmation will happen. i think that hagel has to hope that, you know, there is not anything that comes out in the next week. that's certainly what republicans are hoping. that's what they're buying. they're buying some extra time barring that, i think this is all -- >> mccain is fired up about a massive coverup, but at the end of the day this is a personal war as much as anything else, i think. >> it's a sad thing, alex. i think he could have been --
john mccain could have been one of the great figures in contemporary american politics. when you look at the recent losers of presidential campaigns, thief -- mitt romney, they've kind of disappeared. mccain went back to this tremendous platform in the senate, and although he lost badly, it was not disgracefully. he didn't lose the way barry goldwater lost. he could have been the elder statesman, like a robert, taft oosh wendell welke who says there are great problems facing the country. we have a new untested president. i am here to help. that's what taft did with eisenhower when he was outraged that eisenhower stole the election from him. instead is he shouting on you to get off the lawn. >> largely, lindsey graham is convinced john mccain to take this position because lindsey graham is getting possibly primaried, and they need to be defiant right-wingers. >> i'm a south carolina girl, and i know folks in south carolina aren't happy with
linsey graham. they feel like he is a rhino. every once in a while redskinsy fwram has to prove his -- >> every lots in a while. >> he is drawing john mccain into this drama who, of course, has all these old grievances with hagel, but i do think going forward what does this mean for hagel? does he assume this position, like we think he will, and is he damaged? is this just the beginning of more fights that he is going to have with the senate? is this going to damage his -- >> there is a question about all of this. the obama fiction of the democratic party has been very good for the democratic party. the obamafiction of senate republicans has been bad for them and the republican party. whether it is chuck hagel or colin powell or bob gates, this is a president who has worked with republicans on major issues, senior posts, foreign policy, and the republican party's reaction has been to spaz out, and it makes them look bad. >> speaking of spazing out, we
have to leave it there. thank you, ari, nia, sam, and carrie. that's all for "now." see you tomorrow when i'm joined by harold ford jr., cnbc's andrew ross sorkin, ryan grim, heather mcgehee, and actress and activist kristen davis. until then, you can find us at facebook.com/now with alex. andrea mitchell reports is next. it's tax refund time and wesley & ashley are looking for a brand new smartphone. let's go. we've got a samsung galaxy sii on t-mobile monthly4g for only $299 with no annual contract. nice! [ earl ] see for yourself. get the samsung galaxy s ii on t-mobile's nationwide 4g network. walmart. i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.